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"Hot Box" to Repair Stamford's Potholes

New equipment allows better cold-weather fixes

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Stamford, CT | Added on March 24, 2015 At 06:01 PM

The city of Stamford is on a mission to eliminate potholes permanently with the use of new equipment.

It's called a "hotbox". Carried by a truck, it's being piloted as a tool to improve service and reduce the costs of pothole repairs by up to 40 percent.

"We grab it hot, we keep it hot," said Traffic & Road Maintenance Supervisor Thomas Turk. "Which means we don't waste any at the end of the day because it got cool, and we don't have to go back to the plants to get more hot asphalt to use it in the holes."  

Mayor David Martin joined Traffic & Road Maintenance workers and officials Tuesday morning on Westwood road to launch the city's second "Pothole Week," which will take place now until the end of March and unveil the city's first "hot box". 

"Our primary objective is to get everybody to report those potholes, we know they're all over the place, but if we don't get the reports, then we don't know how to go out and get them filled," said Martin. 

Potholes are typically repaired with a temporary cold patch until local asphalt plants begin production in April, and the success of these temporary cold patch repairs depends on traffic and environmental factors. Martin says the "hot box" is not only more effective but more economically efficient. 

"It allows us to bring hot asphalt to the hole," said Martin. "We plan to use through next winter but even now we're starting to put in hot asphalt in some of the holes."

"It allows to grab a larger quantity of asphalt," said Traffic & Road Maintenance Supervisor Thomas Turk. "Our other trucks can only hold about 2 to 3 tons of asphalt. This can hold up to 5 tons. The biggest difference besides quantity is it allows us to grab hot asphalt and maintain the heat throughout the day." 

Martin says this winter's record freezing temperatures have left potholes hidden under sheets ice for extended periods of time. He tells us just before the week began the city had about six to seven-hundred pothole requests. 

"Now we've had a sudden spike of potholes," said Martin. "It's not like we've had more this bad winter then last winter. It is that this time, they're all showing up all at once in March, where as before they were more spread out over February and we were able to catch up with them a little bit better." 

Martin also says the city is expected order one more hot-box and each costs around 40 to 50 thousand dollars. To report a pothole in your area call (203) 977-4140 or use the MyStamford App on your smartphone. 


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